Policymakers and policymakers say the benefits of air conditioners during the heat wave are clear – and concerns about their environmental and financial impact are taking center stage. .
In the death of last year hot house in BC, authorities found that more than two-thirds of the 619 people who died had no air in their homes.
And hot parties it may increase in the future due to climate changeAdvocates are asking the government to provide vulnerable people with gas stations.
The data shows that gas has been used is increasing in BC, the impact on energy and emissions costs – including an example of the province’s public housing authority turned off cooling in some of its properties to save energy.
Robyn Chan, chair of the Vancouver City Planning Commission, says little has changed since last year in B.C.’s extreme heat response. Different other jurisdictions such as Portland, Ore.BC has not distributed air conditioners through social assistance programs or other initiatives.
“I’ve never seen anything put in place that provides people with warm weather, which is what keeps them alive,” he told CBC News.
“We’ve been pushing the city and Vancouver Coastal Health to… make changes faster because we’ve seen the effects of this summer what does a heat wave do.”
In a 2021 memo during the heat wave, the planning commission — a volunteer group that advises the city on short- and long-term planning solutions — called on the city to act direct and health care providers to provide ventilation, and ensure 24-hour access to shelters. The memo was written by Gabrielle Peters and Amina Yasin.
Research shows that wind turbines can help vulnerable people who are unable to regulate their own body temperature or have mobility issues.
Currently, electricity costs from ACs are increasing. A 2020 report from BC Hydro found that residential use has more than tripled since 2001, and many residents are adding an average of $200 to their summer bills. improper use of air units.
The heating of the BC buildings was turned off
Chan said that as the hot house’s one-year anniversary approaches, he will unveil it a 2017 report revealed that BC Housing — the provincial agency responsible for low-income housing — has turned off cooling in four buildings for more than a decade.
The report describes how the authority retrofitted some areas with heat pumps in 2010-11, providing heating and cooling, and what they learned from the process.
It shows how heating was turned off in three Vancouver sites and one Surrey site, containing a total of 179 residential units, due to the cost of electricity.
I believe that all those who oppose air conditioning are urgent and are demanding life saving devices. @bcndp for more solutions now. Because @BC_Housing eliminated the use of heating on heat pumps because it “disrupted” tenants (page 22).https://t.co/sDvEP4F5Yd
“The heat pumps put in the heating in the summer, and that wasn’t really thought of. It means we’re going to put the heating above 27 C outside, but our tenants find they can afford it. canceling that,” said an anonymous source. inspector in the report.
“Because the tenants don’t pay the heat pump electricity bills, it’s a really bad practice.”
Chan said the case showed that BC Housing seemed to put financial costs above tenants’ safety and comfort.
In a statement, a spokesperson for BC Housing said cooling operations at one building had been restarted this year after the report came out, and work was underway to restart the operation at other locations. three.
“Although we have more work to do, we have taken some important steps to improve our preparedness for extreme heat events,” the spokesman said, pointing to a project that saw the administration to providing fans, spray cans, and portable air conditioners to certain tenants. it’s case-by-case.
Muscles of the wind
Peters, a disability writer and policy analyst, said the BC House situation reflects a broader trend in BC that paints air conditioning as a luxury, not a lifesaver. life
“I think that people, in order to sustain life, should be allowed to pollute as much as they need to,” he said, noting that focusing on individual carbon footprints undermines the high emissions from rich and powerful people.
According to Peters, in B.C., many low-income people live in small homes without adequate ventilation – often relying solely on windows for ventilation, which means the longer the heat stays in the faster the heat will burn out.
He said the current provincial response to warming — which includes cooling centers and counseling for individuals — is at odds with science and reflects strong attitudes.
“They’re giving advice for people who might die from heatstroke and ignoring the rest of us,” he said.
“Just telling people … to put a cold cloth on them or something is a very short-term thing for a small increase in external pressure.
Peters says policy makers need to work on creating more ways to distribute air conditioners as a form of heat reduction.
It is in this classified as a medical deviceproviding them through community centers and food banks, funding mutual aid groups to help accommodate them, and creating summer programs for university students to reduce the heat.
The coroner’s report on heat wave diseases last year called for the Ministry of Health to review the possibility of providing ventilators and other heating equipment to vulnerable people as medical equipment by December this year year.
Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency predicts that rising demand for cooling will increase greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
In a report co-authored with the United Nations Environment Programme, it was stated that approximately 3.6 billion refrigerators are currently in use; but if refrigeration were given to everyone who needed it, 14 billion devices would be needed by 2050.